Construction industry goes green with building standards

When it comes to constructing modern residential buildings, environmental considerations are becoming one of the key features in the design. In an effort to streamline procedures and practices, the recently launched Longlife project will conduct a comparative review of these among the countries involved and produce guidelines to be used as a basis for constructing a prototype resource-saving residential building.

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Experts look into how to develop construction practices that respect the environment Experts look into how to develop construction practices that respect the environment

"Pro Potsdam GmbH has expertise in the administration and redevelopment of residential areas. In the Longlife project, we will be sharing knowledge about practices and finding real solutions for residential buildings as regards energy efficiency and sustainability."
Horst Müller-Zinsius, Managing Director, Pro Potsdam GmbH

Sustainability and energy efficiency, combined with new and adapted technologies, will be the main principles underlying the prototype building. By drawing on the best of practices, techniques and institutional structures, the Longlife guidelines will also be suitable for use in other types of buildings such as schools and hospitals.

Sifting through the best know-how

The countries involved, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Russia (associate partner), will share knowledge with each other about how their respective building processes operate. These will be collated and analysed so that a harmonised set of guidelines can be produced. This exercise will also ensure that differences across the Baltic Sea Region will be minimised as regards environmentally-friendly residential constructions.

Clearer procedures for cleaner buildings

This initial comparative stage covers planning, permit and tendering procedures, practices for developing and operating housing and construction technologies. The guidelines will reflect the best and most applicable features of the countries’ processes in an effort to introduce new, innovative and higher standards when it comes to energy efficiency, sustainability, resource-saving buildings and low lifecycle costs. A prototype residential building will eventually be constructed based on the guidelines and will be adaptable for country-specific needs. The prototype will also be certificated as a sustainable building.

Spreading the knowledge

The potential project beneficiaries are not limited to the residential sector. Kindergartens, hospitals and offices should also be able to benefit from the technologies and practices developed. Universities, public administrations and housing associations from the countries involved will be responsible for spreading the Longlife results in their respective countries. Looking further ahead, the ‘BAltic Sea Housing Development Association – BASHDA’ will be set up to continue the work once Longlife is completed.


Draft date

14/01/2010